Bullying complaint 'filed against former Commons speaker John Bercow by top official'

22 January 2020, 23:51

Former Commons speaker John Bercow has denied claims of bullying
Former Commons speaker John Bercow has denied claims of bullying. Picture: PA

By Megan White

A formal bullying complaint has reportedly been filed against former Commons speaker John Bercow by a peer who served as his most senior official.

Lord Lisvane, who was Clerk of the House and the Speaker’s most senior official, has handed a dossier of allegations to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, according to The Times.

The document is said to accuse Mr Bercow of having bullied and humiliated staff, including using inappropriate language.

But Mr Bercow dismissed the claims, saying the timing was “curious” and adding that Lord Lisvane had “ample opportunity” to raise the claims while the two worked together.

The former Speaker has consistently denied allegations of bullying from former members of staff in the past.

In a statement on Thursday, he said: "During the five years that we worked together, Lord Lisvane had ample opportunity to raise any accusations of bullying with me.

"At no stage did he do so, even though he became Clerk of the House - the most senior official. The timing of this intervention is curious."

Outgoing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has reportedly been lining up Mr Bercow, who was a Tory MP before becoming speaker, for a peerage.

But there have been suggestions that Downing Street could hamper the move, with the Prime Minister's official spokesman highlighting a "long-standing convention" that opposition leaders nominate individuals form their own parties.

Mr Bercow left the speaker's chair on October 31 and has been replaced by Sir Lindsay Hoyle.